Frequently Asked Questions
Disclaimer: the following information is provided based on the ABTC Operating Framework for reference only. ABTC holders and applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their respective authority to acquire more detailed and economy-specific information.
- Which APEC economies participate in the scheme? Nineteen economies of APEC fully participate in the scheme, namely: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, PNG, Peru, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam. The remaining 2 economies (Canada and the United States of America) are transitional members of the scheme.
- How are the transitional members different from fully participating members? Transitional members do not offer reciprocal arrangements for entry to their economy. They only provide fast track immigration processing lanes.
- What are the benefits of holding ABTC? ABTC holders who are granted preclearance will be able to travel to, enter and undertake legitimate business in participating economies for a minimum of two months. The ABTC is valid for three years. Faster processing on arrival at major airports is a further benefit enjoyed by cardholders.
- Do I still need visa for entry into APEC Economies? ABTC holders will need no visa for APEC Economies which already grant preclearance. The granting of preclearance is in the discretion of each APEC Economy. Nevertheless, any participating economy has the right to withdraw pre-clearance after card issue. Under this situation, the holders will be informed.
- Do I still need my passport? Passports remain a primary traveler identification document. A cardholder presents his or her ABTC on arrival and departure. Economies will also require the presentation of the cardholder's passport and in some cases an arrival or departure card.
- How can my entry process be expedited? APEC Economies designate special lanes for ABTC holders in their respective major international airports both for arrival and departure. Please look for the sign or ask for direction.
- Am I eligible for ABTC? Eligibility for the ABTC is to be assessed by the home economy prior to the application being passed to all other participating economies for pre-clearance. The eligibility criteria are distinct from any sub-criteria to be applied by individual economies for preclearance purposes, including laws of economies applicable to the assessment of health and character, inclusive of criminality. General eligibility criteria include:
7.1. are citizens of the participating APEC economies or in the case of Hong Kong China, its permanent residents who hold Hong Kong permanent identity cards;
7.2. have never been convicted of a criminal offence;
7.3. hold a valid passport issued by the home economy and in the case of Hong Kong China, its permanent residents who hold a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport or a valid travel document issued by another country or territory;
7.4. are bona fide business persons who may need to travel frequently on short term visits within the APEC region to fulfill business commitments.
- Am I considered a bona fide business person? A bona fide business person is taken to mean a person who is engaged in the trade of goods, the provision of services or the conduct of investment activities. It specifically does not include:
8.1. the business person’s dependent spouse and children;
8.2. persons who wish to engage in paid employment or a working holiday;
8.3. Professional athletes, news correspondents, entertainers, musicians, artists or persons engaged in similar occupations.
- What is the length of stay entitlement for the ABTC Holders? The minimum period of stay granted to a cardholder is two (2) months. The maximum period of stay granted to a cardholder is (3) months.
- What will be the fee for the ABTC issuance? The fee structure for ABTC issuance differs from one economy to another please contact the respective authority.
- What should be done in the case of ABTC loss? Every APEC economy has its own specific procedure please contact your respective authority.
- Can ABTC holders be denied of entry? The APEC Business Travel Card Scheme in no way alters the right of an economy to determine who may travel to, enter and remain in that economy, including a business person who has been issued with an ABTC. If a cardholder does not conform to the relevant visa/entry requirements of an economy, such as intending a genuine business visit, the cardholder may be refused entry.
- How can I renew the card? Every APEC economy has its own specific procedure please contact your respective authority.
- What should be done if I have problem with the issuance of the card? The issuance of the card is managed by the respective authority of the economy from which the holders originate. ABTC holders and applicants need to contact their respective authority in such a case.
The APEC Business Travel Card is an initiative of the APEC Business Mobility Group.
"We recognize the need for business people to move quickly between APEC economies when pursuing trade and investment opportunities."
To know more about the ABTC scheme, please click here.
To view a summary of the ABTC scheme, please click here.